Questions tagged [temperature]

Questions dealing with biological processes in relation to temperature, for instance temperature effects on metabolism, enzyme function or development time. Temperature can be measured on many different scales, e.g. in degrees Fahrenheit or Celsius, or Kelvin.

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25
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2answers
2k views

How is temperature sensed?

Can anyone summarize the mechanism by which when an object of a given temperature is placed in contact with, say, the skin on a human fingertip, the average speed of the particles of the object is ...
11
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3answers
4k views

Do humans perceive temperature or heat-flux? (or both?)

The general understanding is that when I touch an object, I perceive its (relative) temperature. A metal object at room temperature, however, will often feel cool to the touch. This leads me to ...
2
votes
2answers
13k views

How much heat can a human sustain?

For how long can a human sustain a temperature of 180 degrees Fahrenheit (82oC) without damage in a confined place? For instance, suppose a person is sitting in a steam-filled room, without external ...
55
votes
2answers
11k views

What is the benefit of fever during infections?

When people get sick, they often develop a fever. What is the effect of an increased body temperature on viruses and bacteria in the body? Is it beneficial to the infected body? Importantly, often ...
22
votes
4answers
26k views

In Japan, the official average body temperature is 36.0 °C. Why so different from that of Europe?

The Japanese Wikipedia states that the average human body temperature is 36.0 °C (here,"ヒト"). The statement references the data from the Japanese government. Actually all of my Japanese friends think ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Why are low temperatures lethal?

Why can't we (human, or even unicellular organisms) withstand low (body) temperatures (5 - 25°C). I have a limited background in chemistry and biology, so this might be obvious, but not to me. I know ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

Does the cell internal temperature changes in response to a change in external temperature?

Background Some species are homeotherm (internal temperature is not affected by a change in external temperature) and some are poikilotherm (internal temperature changes in response to external ...
5
votes
2answers
687 views

Trick fruit trees into flowering later in the spring

There is a common problem with fruit trees in temperate climates where the trees flower before the last frost. Generally speaking, if the tree has flowered, and the temperature drops below freezing, ...
3
votes
1answer
190 views

Why cooked food considered nutritious if proteins decompose at much lower temperatures?

Food is cooked/baked at temperatures that are significantly higher than what's considered normal for proteins/amino acids (40°C). Why is it, then, that such food is still considered nutritious ...
2
votes
4answers
190 views

What causes plants in the prunus genus to reach anthesis?

In a related question, I ask how to trick fruit trees into flowering later in the spring by prolonging frozen ground conditions. However, I'm starting to realize that I don't actually understand what ...
13
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0answers
2k views

Why do we experience temperatures below 37 degrees Celsius as 'hot'? [duplicate]

We always prefer to be in 20-25° C, although our core temperature is about 37°? Why is our skin temperature lower than our core temperature?
7
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1answer
2k views

How do individual plants adapt to changes in temperature?

If you grow a plant from seed in your nice warm house, then plant it out in your temperate garden, it will stop growing for a while, possibly die, and if not, subsequently resume growth. Standard ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Why do crows sit on treetops even when it is cold?

It is cold outside: -1 degrees Celsius, wind 14 km/h and snow from time to time. I was wondering why crows (maybe birds in general in Northern Europe) are calmly sitting in relatively windy places ...
3
votes
2answers
198 views

How do small birds survive the winter?

I live in a region with cold winters (ca. -40 C) and many quite small birds (sparrows, crows, ducks) stay for the winter. How can the birds survive this? As I understand it, smaller bodies will be ...